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L5-S1 loss of abilty to stand on toes with right leg

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Approximately two weeks ago, I began experiencing back of leg (shooting) and lower back pain. Because I had L4-L5 laminectomy approximately 10 years ago, I was very familiar with the symptoms. My most recent MRI confirmed that I had a prominent lumbar disc herniation with extruded disc fragment at the L5-S1 level.
3 days ago, I received an epidural injection and had immediate relief! However and most disturbing, over the past week, I lost my ability to stand on my toes using my right foot and the bottom and side of my right foot continues to be numb and tingling as if left in a bucket of ice water. I confirmed that I do not have a foot drop, since I do not exhibit similar symptoms, however, I am not able to walk effectively since I cannot exert pressure on my right calf while trying to walk or stand on right foot in a tip toe position.
In consulting with the orthopedic surgeon, he suggested that if it were not for my foot problem, he would not even consider surgery, since my back pain and lower leg pain have been relieved (epidural injection.) However, to “potentially” fix the numbness and loss of mobility, he suggested that an operation be scheduled urgently. When pressed on the likelihood of “fixing” the foot mobility issue, he could not guarantee or make any claims whether the surgery will be a best bet or not.
So, I have two options. Hope the problem goes away or have a 2nd laminectomy (this time on L5-S1) and hope that the operation corrects the nerve damage. I can’t determine whether the risk of having the long term downside effects of the surgery outweigh the chance of correcting the symptoms.
I am looking for advice from anyone who had similar issues, thank you in advance for your generous time.
Facts: 37YOM, 180lb, no previous or current medial issues other than previous L4-L5


  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I'm glad that your epidural injection worked for you.

    This is just my opinion,but I would give it some time and try all other methods for your toes..nerve stimulation,PT,steriod shots(in feet)anything other than what your Dr said'operation be scheduled urgently'.

    I have had all of the metatarsal heads removed from my toes and cannot walk on them,or on a grade,and have had 3 and 4 point operations in each foot with all of my muscles/tendons/even bones realigned..but I've never gone in for the spinal surgery as of yet.I'm 48 and had my first operation at 23.

    Spines are much more serious ..what I mean is that I have learned how to accomadate and walk properly with the help of a lot of PT over the years and other tools.Your feet can take more punishment than your spine is what I think I'm trying to say.

    Of course if you are a ballerina,runner(I used to run),or do something where your feet can ruin your livelyhood you have more to consider,but I would get another opinion.

    On a lighter note,
    My OS was in Pittsburgh and we can't mention names here,but he was top of his trade and worked on the Steelers and was a sports surgeon..but I did see Mr Rogers & his wife there once(lol).My Dr treated Mrs Rogers... :))( ..years ago.
  • Hello, in having the same issues. It's been about a month and a half. Would like to know what you ended up doing. It started with lightning pain down my right leg. 2 ER visits with shots and 2 series of steroid pacs. The pain has finally subsided, but has left me with no strength in my right leg along with not being able to stand on my tip toes. I cycle and very active 43 yom. Hope all is well. 

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  • I woke xmas day to bad pain in back and right leg, anyway after some chiro sessions it improved greatly apart from back of leg being numb and my heel and not able to go on tip toes 

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